A fairly short stage with a modest difference in altitude, mainly along ridges and on an excellent path; great views of Mount Etna.
The beautiful arrival hut rounds it all off.
The only guaranteed watering places are at the end of the stage. There is a well a few hundred metres from the start at Piano Margi, along the path, but the fountain has broken down and the replacement rubber hose is not always active.
We start the stage uphill (about 350 m height difference), on a good path with a constant gradient. After reaching the ridge on the western shoulder of Pizzo dei Frinzi, we continue towards the south-eastern saddle of Monte Poverello (those with staying power can climb the nearby peak, it is worth it). We return on a comfortable gravel road from the saddle, first on a slight slope descent, then up and down for several kilometres, never aggressive, along the ridge.
Occasionally we cross roads, but the signage easily points us in the right direction. After passing Pizzo Riposto, we tackle the last small climb (about 150 m height difference) to Pizzo Acqua Bianca (1,211 m), then descend gently and, after passing a spring, reach the Postoleoni plain with an equipped area in the middle of which there is a large round basin; next to it we find the beautiful Ranger’s refuge.
In the early 2000s, the monastero ortodosso dell'Annunciazione della Santa Madre di Dio (Orthodox Monastery of the Annunciation of the Holy Mother of God) in the municipality of Mandanici was renovated.
The complex, consisting of the katholikon (church with baptismal font) and the adjacent monastery, dates back to 1100 and was part of the Byzantine diocese of Taormina. Since the restoration of the monastery, Orthodox priests from Calabria and Greece have returned to run the abbey.
In the municipality of Casalvecchio Siculo is the fascinating chiesa dei Santi Pietro e Paolo d'Agrò (church of Saints Peter and Paul of Agrò).
It stands out for its fortified appearance, which refers to the Sicilian-Norman style. The polychromy of the exterior structure is particularly beautiful, created by the alternation of terracotta bricks, lava stone and local Pietra Serena stone. It was built by the Normans in 1117, thanks to Ruggero II, who gave permission to the Basilian monk Gerasimo to rebuild an ancient monastery dating from the 6th-7th centuries (probably damaged during the Muslim invasion).
Numerous lands in the Agrò valley, where oil and wine were produced, were annexed to the monastery: it was a reference point for the whole area until the 18th century.
Typical of the Tyrrhenian side of the Peloritani is the Mamertino di Milazzo DOC, an ancient wine associated with the Capo di Milazzo peninsula, which later spread to the entire province of Messina.
The name goes back to the Mamertini, who came from Campania and settled in the 3rd century BC as mercenaries to support the city of Syracuse in what is now the province of Messina. After the death of the tyrant Agathocles, they found themselves without work: many returned home, others decided to capture the city of Messina and make it their base for pirate raids. The capture of the city of Messina by the Carthaginians forced them to ask Rome for help and this event triggered the first of the Punic Wars.
The most important legacy of the Mamertines (Mamers was an ancient fertility god who transformed himself into Mars, the god of war) is the winemaking tradition, which was already highly valued in Roman times - in fact, Mamertino wine is mentioned in Julius Caesar's De Bello Gallico. Mamertino DOC is 60% Nero d'Avola and 40% Nocera, and there are also filtered and rosé versions.
Rifugio Postoleoni, in Postoleoni (run by the Forestry Commission, keys must be requested). Tel. +39090 64011
Next to the refuge there is a thatched hut, always open, with a brazier and a few benches useful as a makeshift shelter.
The starting point is reachable by car.
The starting point is NOT reachable by bus.
The nearest location that can be reached by bus is Altolia, starting from the city of messina and changing at Giampilleri Marina.
Here is the LINK to check the timetables.
The starting point is NOT reachable by train.
Va' Sentiero is a grassroot project, thanks to the spontaneous contribution oft housands of people.
Even the most complicated dream, a 7,000km uphill dream,
can be achieved... together.